Secret Service ‘Must Provide Protection’ to Trump If He’s Jailed: Spokesperson

The Secret Service responded to a judge’s statement that President Trump could be jailed.

The U.S. Secret Service reiterated that it “must provide protection” to former presidents amid speculation that President Donald Trump could be jailed by a New York judge for violating his gag order.

On Monday, Judge Juan Merchan told the former president that if he continues to violate a gag order for speaking about witnesses and other individuals connected to the trial, he could face a jail term.

In response to questions about how the Secret Service would respond if President Trump were jailed, a spokesperson for the agency told The Epoch Times Tuesday that “under federal law, the United States Secret Service must provide protection for current government leaders, former Presidents and First Ladies, visiting heads of state and other individuals designated by the President of the United States.”

The statement didn’t go into specifics about how it would look like. The spokesperson did not respond to a question about whether a Secret Service agent could be stationed in a jail cell along with the former president.

“For all settings around the world, we study locations and develop comprehensive and layered protective models that incorporate state of the art technology, protective intelligence, and advanced security tactics to safeguard our protectees,” the spokesperson added. “Beyond that, we do not comment on specific protective operations.”

During a Monday hearing before the jury entered the Manhattan courtroom, Judge Merchan said that “it appears that the $1,000 fines are not serving as a deterrent” and that “the last thing I want to do is to put you in jail.”

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“You are the former president of the United States, and possibly the next president as well,” the judge continued “There are many reasons why incarceration is truly a last resort for you,” he continued, saying that a jail term would be disruptive to the trial.

Meanwhile, New York City Mayor Eric Adams told a news conference Tuesday that the city’s Department of Correction and Rikers Island will be “ready” if the former president receives a jail sentence.

“Our amazing commissioner, she is prepared for whatever comes on Rikers Island,” the mayor said Tuesday, adding that city officials are “prepared to manage and deal with the situation.”

“In this business, particularly around law enforcement, we have to adjust to whatever comes our way, but we don’t want to deal with a hypothetical,” the mayor added. But they’re professionals, they’ll be ready.”

The judge issued the original gag order in March, coming days before the trial started. It prohibits President Trump from making comments about jurors, court staff, prosecutors, and likely witnesses.

The judge expanded his order to include his own family members after President Trump noted on social media that Judge Merchan’s daughter works as a consultant for Democratic Party candidates, accusing him of having a conflict of interest. The former president can make comments about Judge Merchan and District Attorney Alvin Bragg.

On Tuesday, Stormy Daniels, a key witness that President Trump cannot publicly comment on, testified in the case, and she again made allegations that she and the former president engaged in an affair in 2006. The former president has categorically denied her claims.

At one point, President Trump’s lawyers asked Judge Merchan to declare a mistrial over Ms. Daniels’s allegations about a 2006 encounter, saying that they were inappropriate and prejudiced the jury. The judge denied their attempts.

“What’s the jury to do with that?” Trump attorney Todd Blanche told the judge Tuesday, referring to her comments. “It’s still extraordinarily prejudicial to insert safety … concerns into a trial about business records.”

Judge Juan M. Merchan poses in his chambers in New York on March 14, 2024. (Seth Wenig/AP Photo)
Judge Juan M. Merchan poses in his chambers in New York on March 14, 2024. (Seth Wenig/AP Photo)

“There’s no way to un-ring the bell in our view,” Mr. Blanche added. “She testified today about consent, about danger, and that’s not the story she was peddling. Sorry, that’s not the story she was selling” when she signed non-disclosure agreements in 2016, he told the court.

“Judge, I don’t think anybody can listen to what that witness said and think that has anything to do with the charged offense, and it’s the type of testimony that is so prejudicial that you run the risk of the jury not being able to focus on the evidence that does matter,” Mr. Blanche also said.

But prosecutors disagreed with his statements. Assistant District Attorney Susan Hoffinger argued that Ms. Clifford’s testimony is “not new” and “not a new account.”

“This goes directly to her credibility, which they attacked, and I’m sure will continue to attack,” Ms. Hoffinger said.

On President Trump’s Truth Social account, he wrote Tuesday that prosecutors have “gone too far” and said that a “mistrial” should be declared by the judge. That post was issued right before court resumed on Tuesday afternoon.

During remarks Tuesday, Judge Merchan told defense lawyers and prosecutors that he would give instructions to members of the jury about some of Ms. Daniels’ allegations, including her testimony that she was threatened in 2011.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Original News Source Link – Epoch Times

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